Let the reader understand... Again

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gmx
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Let the reader understand... Again

Post by gmx » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 am

Can someone explain to me what the reader is supposed to do with their understanding in Mark 13:14-17? If it refers to the first Jewish war, then isn't it too late to be issuing warnings to flee? It sounds like the author knows what happened. The nod & wink to the reader doesn't seem to make sense in this context. I'm sure there is a simple explanation.
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Peter Kirby
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:57 am

Mark 13:14 So when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Matthew 24:15-16. So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

The author of Matthew adds redundancy to the original, both referring to Daniel and repeating Mark's phrase.

It might mean more, but a minimal guess is that Mark wants the reader to understand that the phrase refers back to Daniel.
And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate.
— Daniel 9:27 (ASV)

And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that maketh desolate.
— Daniel 11:31 (ASV)

And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand and two hundred and ninety days.
— Daniel 12:11 (ASV)
It's not crazy to suggest that the original belief was that the end of the world would follow in some number of days from the fall of the Temple to the Romans. In that case, yes, the part about fleeing would not be useful (except in the retrofitted accuracy sense). The prediction of the end of time would be seen as useful. The book would have a couple years to be circulated before then, with readers attracting people to convert while they can. One possibility, anyway.

The full text is more complex; I don't have time to analyze it now. More context.
8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?

9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
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Charles Wilson
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Charles Wilson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:33 am

gmx --

First off, gmx, realize that what follows from me here is a Minority Report of One. No one else even looks at the Story being about Jannaeus so take it all with a grain of salt, a grain that has not lost its flavor.

Yes, it all looks back at Daniel. The Secret is that it goes back to Antiochus Epiphanes and the sacrificing of an Unclean Animal on the Altar of God. However, now it is a Code for another Greek General, Demetrius Eucerus who has destroyed Alexander Jannaeus. By implication (See: Thread on "Connecting the Dots") this is the change in Jannaeus' success. Jannaeus gets supporters who are now willing to see that the Hellenization of the Culture leads exactly to the things that the Jews were warned against.

If you read Josephus here, you get the most outrageous description. Eucerus leaves the country after destroying the enemy. The Jews run to Jannaeus after his troops are destroyed "...out of pity".

"Wait...Wha...?"

"President Truman, the atomic bombs dropped on Japan have completely destroyed the will and capacity of Japan to make war!..."
"Great!!! Now, LET'S RETREAT!!!"

No. "Let the reader understand". Eucerus, a Greek General camping near the Temple at Gerizim, had committed the Abomination of Desolation. What was written originally as the moment when Jannaeus survived is converted to a future fulfilment of God's Plan.

CW

Edit Note: If Poster "outhouse" were here these days, he would have pointed out that Jannaeus et.al. were already Hellenized. True enough. That Hellenization, through Galilee as well, is documented and not challenged here. The outward manifestations of that Hellenization, however, are of a different Type (See: "Go to the Decapolis and tell them of how the Lord took pity on you..."). The Greeks are against circumcision, they practice homosexuality, etc. They also sacrifice pigs on the Altar of God...
Last edited by Charles Wilson on Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:39 am

gmx wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:10 am
Can someone explain to me what the reader is supposed to do with their understanding in Mark 13:14-17? If it refers to the first Jewish war, then isn't it too late to be issuing warnings to flee?
Maybe not:

Brian J. Incigneri, The Gospel to the Romans: The Setting and Rhetoric of Mark's Gospel, pages 123-124: Josephus frequently reports that people managed to leave the city after the Romans arrived in April 70. Indeed, immediately after the Roman encampment, many people fled the city: "Titus dismissed the majority into the country, whithersoever they could" (JW 5.422). Only in June did the Romans debate whether to blockade the city, and a siege wall 4.5 miles long was finally built in mid-June, supposedly in three days (JW 5.499–508).27 Titus admitted that he did not have enough troops: "To encompass the city with troops would, owing to its extent and the obstacles presented by the ground, be no easy matter" (JW 5.496). Later, Josephus reports that many priests who escaped after the fall of the second wall, were spared and sent to Gophna (JW 6.113–16).

It sounds like the author knows what happened.
Does it? To me it sounds like the author knows what happened in Mark 13.1-2: the temple fell, and its entire complex was totally destroyed.

But the passage of Mark 13.14-20 sounds to me like the words of a person who did not necessarily know that the temple either fell or was going to fall. To warn against something that can be called "the abomination of desolation" is to hearken back to Daniel (Peter gave the references above) and to 1 Maccabees:

1 Maccabees 1.54: 54 Now on the fifteenth day of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-fifth year, they erected an abomination of desolation [βδέλυγμα ἐρημώσεως] upon the altar [ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον]. They also built altars [βωμούς] in the surrounding cities of Judah, 55 and burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.

1 Maccabees 6.5-7: 5 Then some one came to him in Persia and reported that the armies which had gone into the land of Judah had been routed; 6 that Lysias had gone first with a strong force, but had turned and fled before the Jews; that the Jews had grown strong from the arms, supplies, and abundant spoils which they had taken from the armies they had cut down; 7 that they had torn down the abomination [τὸ βδέλυγμα] which he had erected upon the altar [ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον] in Jerusalem; and that they had surrounded the sanctuary with high walls as before, and also Bethzur, his city.

Both Daniel and 1 Maccabees originally were referring to the same crisis: the efforts of Antiochus Epiphanes to turn the Temple into a shrine for Jupiter. The abomination of desolation is not the destruction of the temple, but rather the setting up of something blasphemous or idolatrous in the temple. Daniel's prophecy, of course, came to be applied to events long postdating Epiphanes, as well, as can be seen in Mark 13.

The command to flee the city seems to reflect this Maccabean situation, as well:

1 Maccabees 2.27-38: 27 And Mattathias cried throughout the city with a loud voice, saying, "Whosoever is zealous of the law, and maintains the covenant, let him follow me." 28 So he and his sons fled unto the mountains [ἔφυγεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὄρη], and left all that ever they had in the city [καὶ ἐγκατέλιπον ὅσα εἶχον ἐν τῇ πόλει].

Compare Mattathias' actions to those in Mark 13.14, "let those who are in Judea flee unto the mountains" (οἱ ἐν τῇ Ἰουδαίᾳ φευγέτωσαν εἰς τὰ ὄρη). Also compare the leaving behind of possessions to Mark 13.15-16 (instructions not to take anything along).

To me this part of Mark 13 looks like a text which originally predicted that something or someone blasphemous or idolatrous would be set up in the Temple (compare 2 Thessalonians 2.1-17) but was later contextualized as a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem (by means of providing such a context in Mark 13.1-2).
Last edited by Ben C. Smith on Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Bernard Muller
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:27 am

I do not think that the abomination of desolation in gMark should be given the strict meaning it has in 'Daniel'. Actually, "Mark" did not mention 'Daniel'. This abomination might refer to the roman army standing in Jerusalem, destroying it and then massacring the Jews found within its walls. "Mark" might have assumed that afterward, the Romans did massacre the Jews found in the countryside, which they are not reported to have done.
Note: Titus is reported to have made pagan sacrifices "at the altars" in Jerusalem (Josephus' Wars VII, 1, 3).

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:47 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:27 am
Actually, "Mark" did not mention 'Daniel'.
The abomination of desolation is a reference to Daniel.
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Bernard Muller » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 am

to Ben,
But "Mark" did not say it. "Abomination of desolation" might have been a phrase he found in 'Daniel', and that "Mark" thought relevant to the situation in Jerusalem after the Roman conquest.
Anyway, if that "abomination of desolation" refers to pagan sacrifices at the temple altars, it seems that Titus did just that.

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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:16 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:04 am
Anyway, if that "abomination of desolation" refers to pagan sacrifices at the temple altars, it seems that Titus did just that.
If that was the abomination that Mark had in mind, then it was well and truly too late to flee (Josephus: "as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury"), and the temple was already destroyed, at any rate (Josephus: "Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple"). Furthermore, it appears to me that these sacrifices were made at the Roman camp, not at the Temple (Josephus: "in the midst of the place where he had formerly encamped").
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:22 am

Also... altars? How many altars do you think the Temple had?
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Re: Let the reader understand... Again

Post by Peter Kirby » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:24 am

There is a minority opinion on the subject that may be worth noting.
Edict to Erect Imperial Statue in Temple [39 AD]

Now Gaius (Caligula) bore a grudge for being ignored only by the Jews in this respect [i.e., honoring him as divine]. So he sent his legate, Petronius, to Syria to take the rule over from Vitellius and ordered him to lead a large force into Judea. If they received him willingly, he was to place a statue of (Caligula) in the temple of God. But if they treated him with arrogance, he still was to do this after mastering them in battle --- Josephus, Antiquities 18.261

Jews Prepare to Fight Caligula

Under Tiberius there was quiet. Then at the command of Gaius Caesar to place a statue of him in the temple, (the Jews) took up arms instead. But Caesar's death put an end to the commotion. --- Tacitus, Histories 5.9

Caligula's Death Averts War [41 AD]

Indeed, the Jews had given the appearance of rising up in revolt; (but) after the news of (Caligula's) murder there was no need for compliance (with his order). (Yet) fear remained that some emperor would command the same thing. --- Tacitus, Annals 12.343
Source: https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/ ... the-temple

There's also another minority opinion that is sure to have a following here (Detering's):

https://vridar.org/2007/02/10/little-ap ... ba-revolt/
Verse 14 says: “When you see the ‘Abomination of Desecration’ standing where it should not be – let the reader take note! – those in Judea must flee to the mountains.” The parenthetical comment to “let the reader take note” underscores the fact that this speech was written for the Christians of Mark’s time. It is widely assumed that the contemporary audience of Mark would understand very well what he was talking about, although the ‘Abomination of Desecration’ is a cryptic reference to us. The phrase is borrowed from Dn 9:27, where it refers to Antiochus profaning the Temple of Jerusalem c. 165 BCE (probably with an image of Zeus), although it has been adapted to the evangelist’s times. In the context of the First Jewish Revolt, this probably refers to the profanation of the Temple by the Romans. Josephus tells us that the victorious soldiers raised their imperial standards and worshiped them in the holy place (Wars of the Jews 6.6.1).

A problem with this explanation as I see it is that this would imply it was not necessary to flee till after the temple was captured and destroyed, and that most of the suffering was to occur after this event. It is also just a bit of a stretch to understand the Roman standards, idolatrous symbols though they were, being comparable to the placing of a statue of Zeus in Temple as per Daniel’s apocalypse — recalling also that Daniel wrote of such an event as the beginning, not the culmination, of suffering. Luke did not like this explanation either.

Yet Hadrian did purposefully model himself on Antiochus Epiphanes in his handling of the second Jewish revolt. And note that 13:14 does not mention a temple, but only a place where something ought not to be. Hadrian’s ordering of the setting up the statue of Zeus along with his own image was the beginning, not the culmination, of the most terrible calamaties. Then was the time to flee.
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